The search to find the next big superstar just got even more competitive! For the first time this season, all four finalists of ‘The Four’ faced off against newcomers to defend their seats!
It’s time for The Four! Two OG members and two newbies make up the panel of finalists, but it’s going to be a tough night ahead! All four members will be taken on by a challenger, meaning that NO ONE is safe. But, based on their opening number, we’re sure they’ll all put up great fights. The episode begins with a cool rendition of Imagine Dragons‘ “Believer” performed by the reigning four finalists, Jesse Kramer, James Graham, Sharaya J, and Whitney Reign.
First up: Ebon Lurks! The singer lended his smooth vocals to Ed Sheeran‘s touching ballad, “Photograph.” He definitely brought the emotion, because judge Meghan Trainor confessed his version made her “want to cry.” Fortunately, his sweet singing skills also won over Diddy and DJ Khaled, earning him three blue circles. It’s time for the first challenge of the night!
Ebon was ready to rock, and chose to take on resident rocker Jesse Kramer, who takes the stage first. He gives Ebon a run for his money, opting to slow things down a bit with the iconic 1974 hit “You Are So Beautiful” by Joe Crocker. He brought a bit of edge to it though, giving us that same soulfulness that won over the audience last week.
Ebon brought us back to today’s Top 40 with Bazzi‘s bop “Mine.” It’s definitely a tough call between this performance and Jesse’s! It all comes down to which guy’s sound the audience likes more, and they decided to keep a rocker on the panel! Jesse has successfully defended his seat!
Onto the next challenger: Elijah Connor! The Michigan native dressed the part with an eccentric leather and fur jacket. He also claimed that he’s related to Prince – you know, like, “Purple Rain” musical legend Prince. Elijah gave an interesting performance of “Love” by Musiq Soulchild. While they liked it, Khaled and Meghan weren’t convinced that he could beat any of the four finalists. Then Diddy revealed that he “didn’t like it at all.” Ouch! When the judges decided to not let him challenge, he engaged Diddy in a strange staring contest. “He’s pissed!” Meghan exclaimed, laughing. However, Elijah then thanked the judges for the opportunity and walked off the stage.
Matt Bloyd is the next contestant ready to sing for his shot at a challenge. He stunned the audience with his strong falsetto on Whitney Houston‘s “How Will I Know.” In the words of Diddy: “that was an excellent performance.” Time for another challenge! This time, it’s Whitney’s turn to defend her seat!
Before performing, Whitney admitted that she changed her song choice at the last minute to Aretha Franklin‘s iconic track, “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.” The switch seemed to pay off though – she crushed it! Meghan gave her a standing ovation while Khaled blew a horn after she wrapped up her performance. Matt’s gotta bring his A-game if he wants that seat!
For his challenge, the 25-year-old took on Chris Stapleton‘s “Tennessee Whiskey” which received a ton of praise from the judges. However, the panel seemed to prefer Whitney, and the “No Excuses” hitmaker even admitted that she believed “song choice was really in your favor this time, Whitney.” The audience agreed! Whitney’s safe for another week!
The next contender is Briana Burns, who also goes by Lil Bri. The 17-year-old from Texas showed the judges her hip-hop chops, and she didn’t disappoint. She brought the energy and earned her chance to take on Sharaya J! The OG finalist lost her voice ahead of tonight’s episode, but she didn’t let that stop her from battling. She slayed Migos‘ track “Stir Fry” like nothing was wrong! Now that’s how you secure the bag. Diddy immediately stood up for her and said, “You did that!” She did!
Lil Bri continued the rap battle with a personalized version of Lil Kim‘s “Crush On You.” But it just wasn’t enough to defeat the reigning champ. Sharaya won the first female rap battle on primetime television! Another seat secured!
The next challenger is Meghan Trainor! Just kidding. However, she did do a brief bit of her hit song “All About That Bass” while strumming a pink ukulele between acts. The actual next competitor is 16-year-old Christian Gonzalez. The Miami-based Puerto Rican singer brought a fun Latin flare to the stage with a rendition of “Bailando” by Enrique Iglesias. The teenager’s stellar performance earned him the opportunity to challenge James!
James was the only finalist yet to be challenged tonight. The British singer attempted to follow in his fellow panelists’ footsteps and secure his seat by lending his gorgeous vocals to Stevie Wonder‘s “Lately.” However, the performance didn’t phase Christian who infused some Spanish into Drake‘s hit “Hold On, We’re Going Home” The bilingual bop earned a stunned “Wow” from Meghan, but the choice is ultimately up to the audience! But like every other member of The Four tonight, James is safe!
Not a single challenger nabbed a spot on The Four tonight, but next week could be a whole different story! We’ll have to tune in next Thursday to see if James, Sharayah, Whitney and Jesse can all lock in their chairs again!